Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Amy15-Mar-03 07:34 PM EST 5a   
PatA15-Mar-03 09:46 PM EST 3a   
Amy16-Mar-03 01:31 PM EST 5a   
PatA16-Mar-03 02:31 PM EST 3a   
Susan16-Mar-03 03:32 PM EST 6a   
PatA16-Mar-03 09:18 PM EST 3a   
Susan17-Mar-03 08:46 AM EST 6a   
PatA17-Mar-03 12:31 PM EST 3a   
Amy17-Mar-03 01:18 PM EST 5a   
Susan17-Mar-03 07:04 PM EST 6a   
PatA18-Mar-03 10:33 PM EST 3a   
Dan19-Mar-03 05:35 PM EST   
19-Mar-03 08:33 PM EST 6a   


Subject: Serviceberry tree
From: Amy
Zone: 5a
Date: 15-Mar-03 07:34 PM EST

I am looking for a small tree that I can plant close to my house and I was wondering if a Serviceberry would work. I read about "Spring Glory" and also "Regent" varieties and they sound like they could work. My main concern is that it not get too big. They sound nice as they have nice flowers in spring & good fall color also.


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 15-Mar-03 09:46 PM EST

Amy, serviceberry or as we prairie gardeners call it SASKATOON BERRY is a bush not a tree. They could be pruned to look like a tree but it's natural form is multi-stemmed. They do get big up to 5M tall and wide. Spring Glory is a slightly different serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora) and can be purchased in a grafted form so it has a single stalk, much more tree-like. Regency (Amelanchier alnifolia)is grown mostly as a shrub for fruit, big sweet, delicious!!! Awesome for pies if you can beat the birds to them. Both are very winter hardy and produce nice flowers in the spring. Fall colour is best if they are grown in full sun. Well worth trying! PatA


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Amy
Zone: 5a
Date: 16-Mar-03 01:31 PM EST

Thanks for the detailed info. I would be interested in the tree-like version, the Spring Glory. But I wouldn't want it more than say 12 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Can it be pruned to keep it sized like a small tree? I don't want to risk planting it so close to my house otherwise.


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 16-Mar-03 02:31 PM EST

Amy they take well to pruning. Do it while they're dormant, late fall to early spring. Don't plant it too close to the house go about4-6 feet out so it doesn't get too flat looking on the house side. You will enjoy the shape of it better that way.PatA


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 16-Mar-03 03:32 PM EST

Pat/Amy - I think Amy is talking about Downy Serviceberry, which is definitely a tree (although sometimes a multi-stemmed one) and a beautiful tree too! There is a variety called Spring Glory a.k.a. Spizam. Regent is a shrub of 4-5' or so while Spring Glory is a tree of about 12 feet. I just planted a Downy Serviceberry tree on my front lawn last spring. It'll be a tall one though - 25-30 feet at maturity. The fall color was amazing and the spring blossoms are wonderful. I think it's an underused tree and should be planted more often. Pruning it would be a shame (and you'd lose a lot of the flowers if you pruned in the spring.) The Spring Glory is suppsed to get to 9 feet wide so you should plant it 5-8 feet from the house to give good air circulation (they are a bit prone to mildew ...) For information on it and Serviceberry trees in general go to:

http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/modzz/00000099.html


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 16-Mar-03 09:18 PM EST

Susan thanks for the details. I've added that web data base to my favorites list. It's a good one. Thanks again PatA


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 17-Mar-03 08:46 AM EST

Pat - if you want a good database of plant info, try the Ohio State University Plant Dictionary at:

http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/plants.html

Are you familiar with it? It is excellent - very reliable information and has lots of pictures as well as the good data. I think it must be a joint thing with Michigan State (the source of the Serviceberry tree info...) as a lot of MSU factsheets are on the OSU site. The OSU Dictionary is one of the first places I go when I'm looking for information on plants. It helps to know your USDA equivalent zone - I know I can safely grow anything listed as zone 5 or less while zone 6 plants are very likely to winterkill in winters like we've just had!


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 17-Mar-03 12:31 PM EST

Again thanks Susan. Yes I'm quite familliar with USDA zones. I work at a garden centre so a lot of plant material comes with that on the lables and we constantly have to translate for customers. PatA


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Amy
Zone: 5a
Date: 17-Mar-03 01:18 PM EST

Thanks for all the specific info on the serviceberry tree. It sounds like it isn't a good choice for close to the house, but maybe I can use one elsewhere. Do you have any suggestions on a small tree that will stay compact that I might be able to plant near my house? I already have a couple of weepers on my property so I'd like something more upright, and with good color if possible.


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 17-Mar-03 07:04 PM EST

Amy - at 12 feet, the Spring Glory variety is about as small as a tree gets. If you're looking for something smaller, your best bet may be to get a lilac and keep it pruned to 1-3 main stems. They make beautiful small trees with interesting shapes and they're generally 10-12 feet at maturity. The French Hybrid type 'Charles Joly' is one of my favorites - it has deep purple blooms and will grow to about 10 feet tall and 6-7 feet wide. Lilacs are classic front yard plants and everyone should have one I think! (If you already have one, maybe you can just work on shaping it to be a tree.....)


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 18-Mar-03 10:33 PM EST

Amy, how close to the house do you want to go? You mentioned 4' as the total width of the tree but stretch your arms out, that is about 4'. Try that outside where you want to put your tree. Is that ALL the space you have to work with or can you go a bit more, say up to 8' wide? You would have way more TREES to chose from and wouldn't have to limit yourself to large shrubs that constantly need pruning. There is columnar forms of Crabapples, Hawthorn and Mountain Ash that are about 8' wide and very lovely(flowers in spring and berries to attract birds)As Susan mentioned lilacs are a great choice and there is a tree form call Japanese Tree Lilac. 'Ivory Silk' is the most compact type less than 15' tall and can be easily kept to 8'wide. And one more suggestion Amur Maple (in your zone Japanese or Korean Maples may work) but be sure to get a single stalk/tree form. Again less than 15' tall and up to 12' wide (depending on variety) but with minimal pruning could be kept narrower.

Because you have already tried the weeping type trees, as Susan said, there isn't much more available that is smaller.

If you are willing to prune a shrub to look like a tree, Honeysuckle Arnold's Red is also a good candidate. Interesting stringy bark and crooked stems give it an ancient look, and it has flowers early summer. I hope some of this helps you with your dilema PatA


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From: Dan (dbclost@sympatico.ca)
Zone:
Date: 19-Mar-03 05:35 PM EST

Here's a suggestion on a different tack. What about a nannyberry standard? (Viburnum lentago trained to a single trunk.) We sell quite a few at our nursery as an alternative to ornamental crab-apples and cherries. Their size seems to fit your requirements and they certainly are hardy enough. If you want spring flowers, nice foliage, awesome fruit and many bird visits, take a look at this one.


Subject: RE: Serviceberry tree
From:
Zone: 6a
Date: 19-Mar-03 08:33 PM EST

Good suggestion Dan, - or the Mohican Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum lantana)which is much the same but with orange-red berries instead of blue-black. It's also supposed to be shorter - 3m instead of 6m according to Sheridan's catalog. I planted the Mohican last year and had considered both but I went for the more colorful fruit.


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